2 Thessalonians 2:10
“And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”
First, then, In the second part of his parallel he affirms, "That when Christ finished his obedience, in dying and rising, and offering himself a sacrifice, and making satisfaction, it was, by virtue of the account of God in Christ, and for Christ with God (that is, accepted with God for Christ's sake), the death, resurrection, the sacrifice and satisfaction, and the redemption of all,--that is, all and every one;" and therein he compares Christ to Adam in the performance of the business by him undertaken.
Now, but that I cannot but with trembling consider what the apostle affirms, 2 Thessalonians 2:11,12, I should be exceedingly amazed that any man in the world should be so far forsaken of sense, reason, faith, and all reverence of God and man, as to publish, maintain, and seek to propagate, such abominable, blasphemous, senseless contradictious errors.
That the death of Christ should be accepted of and accounted before God as the death of all, and yet the greatest part of these all be adjudged to eternal death in their own persons by the same righteous God; that all and every one should arise in and with Jesus Christ, and yet most of them continue dead in their sins, and die for sin eternally; that satisfaction should be made and accepted for them who are never spared, nor shalt be, one farthing of their debt; that atonement should be made by sacrifice for such as ever lie undelivered under wrath; that all the reprobates, Cain, Pharaoh, Ahab, and the rest, who were actually damned in hell, and under death and torments, then when Christ died, suffered, made satisfaction, and rose again, should be esteemed with God to have died, suffered, made satisfaction , and risen again with Christ.
That, I say, such senseless contradictions, horrid errors, and abominable assertions, should be thus nakedly thrust upon Christians, without the least colour, pretence, or show of proof, but the naked authority of him who hath already embraced such things as these were enough to make any man admire and be amazed, but that we know the judgments of God are oft-times hid, and far above out of our sights.
So Paul tells the Thessalonians, the whole church to whom he wrote, that he "knew their election of God," I Thess. 1:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:13, he blesseth God "who had chosen them to salvation." Now, did not Paul make this judgment of them by the rule of charity? according as he affirms in another place, "It is meet for me to think so of you all" Philippians 1:7; and can it, ought it, hence to be infallibly concluded that they were all elected? If some of these should be found to fall away from the gospel and to have perished, would an argument from thence be valid that the elect might perish? would we not presently answer, that they were said to be elected according to the judgment of charity, not that they were so indeed?
And why is not this answer as sufficient and satisfying when it is given to the objection taken from the perishing of some who were said to be redeemed merely in the judgment of charity, as when they were said to be elected?